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Millar's walk-off single carries Orioles past Astros

Jun 19, 2008 - 3:36 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Exactly a year after Dave Trembley took over a moribund Baltimore Orioles team, he celebrated with another comeback win.

Kevin Millar's 10th-inning walk-off single helped the Orioles to their 21st comeback win of the season, a 2-1 triumph over the Houston Astros in interleague play Wednesday night.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 10th, Melvin Mora singled with one out off Jose Valverde (4-2). On a 3-1 pitch, Mora took off for second and Aubrey Huff punched an opposite-field single, placing runners on the corners.

Millar then singled up the middle to score Mora and give the Orioles their 21st come-from-behind win second dramatic win in two nights. On Tuesday, Mora hit a two-run double in the eighth which proved to be the difference in a 6-5 win.

"You don't want to make a living doing that," Millar said of Baltimore's comeback. "We're going through that stage where every game is close. Every game is a battle, a dogfight.

"There wasn't a whole lot of offense tonight. We just got lucky and came out with the win."

Trembley took over for Sam Perlozzo a year ago, and he wasn't promised the job for even a week. But he certainly has shown he can lead a team to those all important one-run victories. Last season, the Orioles were a 13-31 in one-run games. This season, they are 17-10.

"Let all that stuff speak for itself. There's really not a whole lot I can say," Trembley said. "We found a way to do it."

Chad Bradford (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Guthrie to pick up the victory. The loss was Houston's seventh straight - its longest losing streak since a 10-game slide in May 2007.

Lance Berkman gave the Astros a 1-0 lead by launching a 1-1 pitch from Guthrie over the right field wall with one out in the seventh. Berkman's 20th home run of the season traveled an estimated 430 feet - one of the longest home runs at Oriole Park this season.

Guthrie had retired 15 straight before Berkman's blast. The only baserunners were Berkman, who walked leading off the second, and Hunter Pence, who doubled to left in the inning. With runners on second and third, Guthrie retired Darin Erstad and Ty Wigginton on pop-ups.

"We didn't do a good job offensively tonight. We didn't get ourselves much of a chance," Berkman said. "It's tough to hit a guy like that," he said. "When you're not swinging the bats well, it seems like you're always running up against somebody who has great stuff, and it's hard to break out."

Guthrie has won just one of his last seven starts, pitched brilliantly, allowing just one run and three hits. He walked one and struck out a season-high eight.

"That's probably the best game Guthrie has pitched this year," Trembley said.

Luke Scott, who was acquired in the deal that sent Miguel Tejada to Houston this offseason, tied the score with a leadoff home run in the seventh off Brian Moehler. It was his 12th home run of the year, and his first against the team that traded him last winter.

"It was a big run for us," Scott said. "Hits were tough to come by."

Moehler matched Guthrie pitch-for-pitch and stymied the Orioles through six innings, allowing just three hits. The 36-year-old Moehler, who made his first start against the Orioles since 2000, gave up six hits, walked two and struck out four.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper remained optimistic despite the lengthy losing streak.

"We just didn't get a base hit when he needed a hit," Cooper said. "The last two days we've played the way we should play. We played aggressive, and we've played solid defense. We just have to get some timely hits.






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    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
    BALTIMORE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    HOUSTON 0 1 5 1
    BALTIMORE 1 2 9 1 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: HOU

    Jun 18 10:10 PM


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    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN MILLAR SCORED MELVIN MORA.
    FINAL SCORE: BALTIMORE 2, HOUSTON 1

    Astros 1, Orioles 2  Bot 10, 0 OutsJun 18 10:10 PM
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    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LUKE SCOTT (12) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF BRIAN MOEHLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, BALTIMORE 1
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: R HERNANDEZ (.234, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 1, Orioles 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 18 8:50 PM
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    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (20) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF JEREMY GUTHRIE.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, BALTIMORE 0
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.274, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 1, Orioles 0  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 18 8:39 PM
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